In my last entry in this series, I examined three important patent law cases from 2012 – one at the Supreme Court level, one at the appellate level, and one at the trial court level. I’ll now do the same thing with regard to copyright cases.

My Supreme Court choice is Golan v. Holder, in which the Court upheld a statute that restored U.S. copyright protection to certain foreign works, thus removing them from the public domain. Such works had lost their protection – or had never acquired it in the first place – because of their failure to comply with formalities like registration and notice, or for reasons having to do with U.S. restrictions on the protection of certain foreign works. Having removed those formalities and restrictions from U.S. law, Congress sought to remove their consequences as well, by restoring the copyrights the works otherwise would have enjoyed. In Golan, the Supreme Court held that neither the Patent and Copyright Clause nor the First Amendment prohibited Congress from doing so. [...]

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